Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, died Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
He was 75.
Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after a brief illness, the SPLC said in a statement released Sunday morning.
The Nashville, Tenn. native was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement. As a Morehouse College student, Bond helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and as its communications director, he was on the front lines of protests that led to the nation’s landmark civil rights laws.
Bond later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another one-year term in 2010.
The SPLC said Bond was a “visionary” and “tireless champion” for civil and human rights.